Hindi: नलका vs नल for faucet/tap

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amiramir

Senior Member
English-USA
I grew up hearing the word नलका for tap from my daadi. The other day, a lady who is quite knowledgeable about language and diction told me that नलका is old-fashioned (which makes sense I guess since I heard it from my daadi who would now be 100 this year) and that I should use नल instead. I have no reason to doubt her judgment, but I thought I'd ask you guys whether you agree.

Should I be using नलके का पानी or नल का पानी?

Many thanks
 
  • marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    I'll stay with your daadii's choice. For me 'nal' is the pipeline which can lead to a tap 'nalkaa'.
    I couldn't find the word 'nalkaa' in my Hindi dictionary; what I did find is nalikaa from Sanskrit apparently so it might well be old-fashioned! But old is gold!
     

    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Here is a Hindi dictionary entry for nalkaa.

    I think nalkaa is originally a Punjabi word, which some Hindi speakers use and others don't. Even at the time of Platts, nalkaa was not a mainstream word in Hindi/Urdu.
     
    Last edited:

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    "nalkaa" is indeed not only old-fashioned in Hindi, but I would think not that much common even in old times in Hindi. The more common word in Hindi, at least since some time now, is "nal" for a tap.
     

    Jashn

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I've only heard 'nal', but as a person who speaks as a second-language, that may not mean much. I was taught the word in order to help me remember how to write the letter 'na' in Hindi, since it sort of looks like a tap with a horizontal line on top:
     

    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    "nalkaa" is indeed not only old-fashioned in Hindi, but I would think not that much common even in old times in Hindi. The more common word in Hindi, at least since some time now, is "nal" for a tap.
    What term do you use for the pipeline that leads to the nal (tap)?
     

    amiramir

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    Thanks to all who chimed in. Maybe it is an old punjabi-ism, as mundiyji posits (my daadi was Punjabi) नलका does come up all over the net. There's even a youtube video that uses both nalka and nal in the same skit.
     

    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    I can't speak for Hindi but Urduphones would readily understand both nalkaa and TuuTii to mean a faucet/tap.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Hindi/Urdu: nalkaa vs. ToTii

    The thread with the link above and this thread need to be merged.

    Let me describe for the readers of this thread what a nalkaa is/was as I remember it from my childhood days. In those days, the water level in our village was 40 feet below the ground. The ground would be bored with a metal boring tool hanging from a rope from a pulley. It's weight would dig into the earth and every now and again it would be emptied of its muddy contents until blackish sand came. This is the point where the water level started. Then a "nal" would be downed into the newly dug hole.

    At the ground level, a cylindrical "nalkaa" would be screwed onto the pipe in the ground, the nalka cylinder being of wider circumference than the pipe in the ground. It's height would be around 4 feet. Within this cylinder would be a rod connected to a leather plunger at its base. On the top end would be circular screw on top through which the rod ran through. This rod is then connected with an external handle which would move the rod, along with its plunger. On the upward stroke, this cylinder would get filled with water and on the downward stroke, the water is pumped out of a "spout" (TuuTii in Punjabi) fitted to the side of the cylinder of the nalkaa. So, we have the "nal" (pipe) in the ground, the "nalkaa" as the water pump with its "TuuTii" (the modern "tap" is also called "TuuTii..ToNTii in Urdu and Hindi).

    After all this, I am sure there must be a Youtube video of "nalkaa" in operation!:)
     
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    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Completely agree with @Qureshpor jii for his brilliant explanation (with some lovely mechanical knowledge): and that's why, given that nowadays "haath kaa nal" (the hand-pump in the aaNgan one used to find in old homes, or still finds as long as those homes have not been "renovated") is becoming obsolete, the word "nalkaa" is also going out of usage. "ToNTii" is still very much used though for the spout (and sometimes, by extension, for "nal" itself, especially if it's a very small "nal").
     
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